It’s not business as usual for Goa-Mumbai buses in times of Covid-19 pandemic, though the MHA guidelines easing inter-state movement of transport.Gone are the days when the KTC bus stand was bustling with the Volvos and luxury buses, with passengers from Salcete countryside thronging the stand to catch a bus to the metropolitan city.
In fact, over a dozen used to leave from Mumbai from the Margao bus stand, almost everyday, ferrying passengers, right from seafarers to businessman and families.While the MHA guidelines have eased the movement of inter-state traffic and passengers, the Goa-Mumbai bus services are yet to pick up since the service resumed from September 6.
It’s now five days since a couple of luxury buses on the Goa-Mumbai have started operating from Margao, but there are hardly passengers availing the services.Says Anthony Rodrigues, proprietor of Jolly Travels, who owns a fleet of inter-state buses: “With hardly any passengers availing the Goa-Mumbai bus services, the buses are virtually running empty. Most of the luxury buses are 40-seat buses, but due to social distancing norms, we have to take passengers to half the capacity. Even then, the buses have not been running to its full capacity.”
Unlike the past, when over a dozen buses used to ply on the Margao-Mumbai route every day, only four buses are back on the route. Rodrigues claimed that even these four buses are plying with passengers far less than the capacity, leaving the owners in a tight spot.
“I own around eight buses, all plying on the Goa-Mumbai route, but I have decided to presently ply only two buses. Even these two buses are not running to its capacity,” he said, saying that the owners are keeping their fingers crossed how to go about the pandemic situation.
Sources in the know say that with the shipping industry yet to pick up and the movement of seafarers from Goa to Mumbai coming to a halt, the number of passengers travelling to and from Goa have come down drastically. Secondly, with the economy and business still in limbo, the movement of businessmen from the State to Mumbai has also come down, affecting the inter-state bus service.
KSRTC starts daily non-AC sleeper Bengaluru-Panaji bus service
BELAGAVI: Following the resumption of the Belagavi-Panaji bus service last week, the Karnataka State Road Transport Commission (KSRTC) has started a new daily non-AC sleeper bus service between Bengaluru and Panaji from Thursday.
In a press release, the KSRTC stated that the new non-AC sleeper bus will ply via Chitradurga, Hubli and Karwar.
KSRTC Public Relations Officer T S Latha stated that the bus will ply daily between Bangaluru and Panaji with the ticket priced at Rs 960.
According to KSRTC sources, the bus is scheduled to leave Bengaluru at 6.30 pm and will reach Panaji at 10.15 am the next day. On its return journey, the bus is expected to leave Panaji at 5.30 pm and will reach Bengaluru at 9.15 am the next day.
The resumption of bus services between Bangaluru and Panaji is expected to bring much relief to people from both places, who are either employed or have business relations.
Earlier, the KSRTC had stated that it would resume operations to Goa from September 7 with the lockdown being relaxed, as a part of interstate services being resumed amid the Covid pandemic.After the restrictions were eased, Karnataka had started special bus services between Belagavi and Panaji and also buses from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kodagu and Sulia to Kerala, during Onam from August 25 to September 6.